Yesterday Rod’s dad stopped by on his walk. We talked to him from our front yard, through the trellises and rosebushes, at a distance of more than the required 6 feet. It was a beautiful day: warm, breezy, sunny, carefree. We’d been outside lounging on the grass, looking at flowers and drinking bubble water. Ambrose loves his Baba and was thrilled to see him there.
We talked for a while, and just as we were saying goodbye, Ambrose ran full speed in the direction of Baba to give him a hug. We all shouted, “No, no!” Ambrose stopped, confused, and looked from me to Rod to Baba with the saddest frown on his face. I have never seen that face until now. He looked like he was about to cry but holding in his tears. With the corners of his mouth turned down and his eyes so big, he silently looked at each of us. I felt my face mirroring his. Rod picked him up, and we all explained as sweetly as we could that he couldn’t give Baba a hug right now, and he will have to wait for another time. His frown lasted minutes as we tried to comfort him.
I felt so heartbroken and helpless. He has never before been told that hugging someone he loves is not OK. I thought briefly that I know there will be many more moments like this in our lives, times when I am heartbroken on his behalf and unable to explain, unable protect his heart from whatever has pierced it.
An hour later, at dinner, he said, “Ambrose sad.” I asked him why he was sad and he said, “No hug.”
Submitted by Katina Mitchell, San Mateo County -San Carlos.